UK surgeon says he is ‘hostage’ in Dubai road rage row
Dr Joseph Nunoo-Mensah told he could face six months in jail if found guilty; hearing set for June 20
Dr Nunoo-Mensah, a surgeon at King’s College Hospital London, has been held in Dubai over a row with another motorist.
The top London surgeon at the centre of a road rage incident in Dubai said on Wednesday he felt like a “hostage in the system” after failing to get his passport back.
Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, a consultant surgeon at King’s College Hospital, said he was not able to return home to the UK even though his hearing is not scheduled until June 20.
He has been charged with public indecency following an altercation with a motorist to whom he is alleged to have made a rude gesture.
In a phone interview with the UK’s 5 Live radio station, he said the British Consulate had told him others on similar charges in the past had been jailed for up to six months.
He said his lawyer had failed in a bid to recover his passport so he could go home and then return to Dubai to face the trial next month.
“I feel I’m a hostage in the system where I can’t be allowed to have my own rights to freedom, my rights to family and my rights to be able to work for a crime that is one person’s word against another,” he said in the interview.
He added: “There is a completely different driving style here. It’s very fast and they will tailgate you, they will push you out of the way.”
The British national, who said he was tailgated by a car flashing its lights on April 25, is accused of making a rude gesture to the driver.
Denying he raised a finger at the other driver, he said: “I raised both hands to say what do you want from us. He was harrassing us on the motorway.
“It was very intimidating…I was just looking for a way to get out of his [the other driver’s] way,” he said, adding that he was concerned for the safety of his wife and three children who were also in the car.
His wife Alison, who also took part in the interview from the family home near Manchester, said her husband was very upset about the situation.
“I find it very distressing to hear my husband so upset. It’s very upsetting for me. The problem that we have at home is that we don’t know if everything will be resolved at the hearing on June 20. It’s the not knowing that is the most worrying thing,” she told the radio station.
Nunoo-Mensah said the police officer who interviewed him was “very amicable” and had tried to get the case resolved but the other driver had insisted on charges being brought.
Nunoo-Mensah was in the UAE with his family at the invitation of US healthcare group Cleveland Clinic, which is building a medical centre in the Gulf state’s capital.
Making offensive hand gestures is illegal in the UAE and can lead to a jail term.
The case is the latest documenting the arrest of British nationals in the UAE, following a spate of arrests relating to crimes such as the illegal consumption of alcohol and inappropriate behaviour.
The British Embassy said in 2009 that Brits were more likely to be arrested in the UAE than anywhere else in the world.
Source: Arabian Business